Iran arm­ing Houthis to at­tack Saudi Ara­bia, UAE’

The Miracle - - Middle East - GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN Source: ARAB NEWS

RIYADH: Iran is sup­ply­ing Houthi mili­tia with arms to at­tack Saudi Ara­bia and the UAE, Col. Turki Al-Ma­liki, spokesman for the Saudi-led coali­tion in Ye­men, said on Sun­day. Al-Ma­liki also said the coali­tion would pay a fi­nan­cial re­ward for in­for­ma­tion about 40 Houthis wanted for ter­ror­ist crimes. Coali­tion forces have enough ev­i­dence to prove the full com­plic­ity of the Tehran regime in the Ye­men con­flict, Al-Ma­liki said. At a pre­sen­ta­tion in Riyadh, he dis­played mis­siles, weapons and mil­i­tary equipment sup­plied by Iran and seized by coali­tion forces. He said bal­lis­tic mis­siles used by the Houthis were not from the Ye­meni Army ar­se­nal, and came from Iran. Iran also sup­plied the Houthis with drones, he said. Dis­man­tled mis­siles and other arms were smug­gled through Al-Hodei­dah port in Ye­men and as­sem­bled in­side the coun­try. The Houthis also threat­ened mar­itime nav­i­ga­tion by us­ing booby-trapped boats, he said. Al-Ma­liki said the coali­tion had stepped up op­er­a­tions af­ter Satur­day night’s bal­lis­tic mis­sile at­tack on Riyadh, but would not con­firm air strikes on mil­i­tary tar­gets in the cap­i­tal, Sanaa, and else­where in Ye­men af­ter they at­tack. Saudi de­fense forces in­ter­cepted and shot down the Houthi mis­sile over King Khaled In­ter­na­tional Air­port. Some de­bris landed in an un­in­hab­ited area but there were no ca­su­al­ties and the air­port con­tin­ued op­er­at­ing as nor­mal. Al-Ma­liki said the Houthis had launched the mis­sile in­dis­crim­i­nately to tar­get civil­ians in pop­u­lated ar­eas, which was a provoca­tive act. Coali­tion forces would do what­ever was pos­si­ble to de­ter the threat from mil­i­tants in Ye­men, he said. The Houthis have launched 78 mis­siles at Saudi Ara­bia, in­clud­ing one in July aimed at Makkah, since the coali­tion be­gan fight­ing to re­store the le­git­i­mate gov­ern­ment in Ye­men in March 2015. The Houthis were the first out­lawed ter­ror­ist group to have bal­lis­tic ca­pa­bil­i­ties, which was a chal­lenge to deal with, Al-Ma­liki said. “Ter­ror­ists and mil­i­tant groups can­not pos­sess such pow­ers, es­pe­cially bal­lis­tic and sur­face-to-sur­face mis­siles.” In ad­di­tion, he said, the Houthis had planted about 50,000 land mines along the Saudi bor­der, which were found and neu­tral­ized by coali­tion ex­perts. He also called on the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, es­pe­cially the UN, to as­sess vi­o­la­tions of UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tion 2216. The res­o­lu­tion, ap­proved in April 2015, calls for an end to vi­o­lence and de­mands that the Houthis with­draw from all ar­eas seized dur­ing the con­flict, re­lin­quish arms seized from mil­i­tary and se­cu­rity in­sti­tu­tions, and cease all ac­tions fall­ing ex­clu­sively within the author­ity of the le­git­i­mate gov­ern­ment of Ye­men.

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